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Healthy Cooking Tip: Slow Cooker and Steaming

To me, falling temperatures at sunset mean cooked veggies for dinner. Raw carrots just don't cut it when it is sweater weather inside my house. But don't just boil your vegetables, because how you prepare your produce affects its nutritional quality. Two simple methods help preserve vital nutrients: steaming and slow cooking.

Steaming helps veggies retain nutrients better than other methods, especially when compared to boiling. The vitamins and minerals are leached out into the hot water when you throw your veggies into boiling water, but steaming preserves more of the nutrients. The slow cooker is not only convenient, but cooking foods at lower temperatures may help preserve nutrients that can be lost when food is cooked rapidly at high heat, like grilling. Plus it is great to load the slow cooker with a bunch of veggies and lean protein.

This reminds me, I need to find some new recipes for my slow cooker. Got any you want to share?


Join The Conversation
tamariga tamariga 8 years
ooh i am making a delicious chicken "cacciatore" in my slow cooker today. so easy, low cal and delicious: pour into the crock pot 1/2 of a 16oz jar of your favorite tomato sauce (i usually make my own). add in one rough chopped green bell pepper and also one red bell pepper, 1/2 thinly sliced onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 6 or 7 chicken thighs, or you could use a couple breasts, and about 6 chopped mushrooms. pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top and cook on low for 6-7 hours of high for 3 hours. i serve it with brown rice, noodles or steamed potatoes.
KMattes KMattes 8 years
I steam my veggies (mostly carrots and broccoli) in the microwave right on a plate: place one damp paper towel on a large dinner plate, add a single layer of veggies, top with another damp paper towel, microwave for 3-4 minutes and let it sit in the microwave for a couple minutes afterwards. Yum!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
we have a slow cooker and a crock pot and my man is always trying to find new things to cook. i have to admit there have been a lot of times that he's been unsuccessful with what he's made but i guess he can't always be the best right? i do like the steamer - that's one of the best inventions ever.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I usually microwave my veggies in my microwave steamer thing. It's got a plastic bottom that you put water in. Then you put the plastic insert on top of that and put your food in that. Pop the lid on and stick in the microwave for a few minutes and the veggies always turn out great.
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I have one of those steamer baskets! I think it's cool.
KayEff KayEff 8 years
Does anyone else get frustrated at the steamer baskets shown in the pic? I used to have one, but once one of the pieces popped out of alignment, the entire thing would get floppy when trying to get it out of the pot. Nowadays I use the colander-type, or just a plate on top of a chinese steam rack to elevate it above the water.
aridg aridg 8 years
Sorry I forgot to add the link
aridg aridg 8 years
Here is a website for crock pot cooking.
Advah Advah 8 years
I'm all for steaming! I used to hate it (my parents are obsessed with steamed courgettes and fish, it tastes like water to me) but since I eat a lot of broccoli/cabbage/spinach in the UK, I found that steaming is the only way to keep them crunchy enough. Plus it cooks super fast this way! I also got a slow cooker recently, unfortunately I'm still learning how to use it, so I'm also looking for recipes! (it's a small one, and all the recipes I found are for bigger ones.)
wiggle wiggle 8 years
My kids can't stand butter on veggies. So weird, but good for my heart I guess. We top broccoli and green beans with olive oil.
rivrchild rivrchild 8 years
Ahh, steaming is the only way I can eat my veggies at home! Broccoli, snow peas, they come out just perfect in the steamer. Not mushy and overcooked and water logged if you were to boil them. then a little butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice on the veggies and they are delicious.
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